The second of our four-part series on how to build your business success explores delivery and distribution processes and systems within your organization. This series is design to provide practical and easy to implement solutions for long-term profit building. After focusing on ways to develop your team and create an education strategy for your organization it is time to turn your attention to delivery and distribution.
Ask yourself this question; “How easy it for customers to get the products and services you offer?” As many organizations have had to pivot to adapt to the new normal conditions brought about due to the global pandemic, a focus on supply mastery, quality of delivery, ease of purchase and customer service is crucial for ongoing success.
As businesses shift to virtual and online delivery and distribution methods it is a perfect time to ask yourself some questions and to investigate opportunities to maximize your customer experience.
First dig deep into your supply capabilities. Achieving Supply Mastery means that your organization understands and is able of answering some key questions;
- Can customers get what they pay for?
- Can they get it on time?
- Can the company make, buy or deliver the products and services with consistency?
- Are there Supply Chain Bottlenecks?
- What volume of sales increase can they handle?
- What changes do you have to make to deal with increases in demand?
- What are you doing to ensure you don’t lose customers due to poor delivery?
- Are you creating a goal of “consistency of delivery” that you measure and monitor?
Once you are confident that you have systems, controls and measure in place to address supply issues, the step is Quality Mastery. There is no way to get a customer back if you can’t deliver what they buy to the standard that they expect. Here a different set of questions help find hidden gaps in your quality control;
- Are you delivering on your promise every time, every delivery regardless of conditions or external challenges?
- Where are they losing customers due to low quality?
- What areas do you deliver well and in what areas do you struggle? Is there a common denominator?
- Are your monitoring and responding to customer complaints and feedback?
- Do you conduct Mystery Shops to inspect what your customers expect?
- Does your delivery meet the level of your customers expect to receive and if not, where is it falling short?
After your supply chain and quality control are addressed, you have to investigate how easy is it for your customers to do business with you from their point of view. Too many companies make it too hard to buy from them. They place policy over service and make business practices overly complex. These questions will help you to begin to examine the Ease of Doing Business;
- Are policies keeping customers away? Do you require excessive paperwork to be filled out, or have multiple approval levels and have lengthy waiting periods?
- How easy are you to find? What is your online presence saying about your business, your products and your services that would entice a customer to buy?
- Is it clear what you offer and what options are available?
- Is it easy for customers to pay and complete transactions?
- What are your safety and privacy protocols and do you comply with the most current e-commerce compliance requirements?
- What is your return and refund policy?
- How easy or inviting is it for your customers to come back?
- Do you conduct customer feedback surveys and what do you do with the feedback you receive?
- Are you applying common sense rules to your policies or are they overly and unnecessarily complex?
Once you feel confident that you are accessible, inviting and enticing to customers, you have to focus on Service Mastery to really complete the delivery and distribution cycle. Service mastery starts with basic customer service and leads you to a world where customers do your selling for you. Your delivery of service or products is so extraordinary, delighting and satisfying that customers market your brand for you. They become ‘raving fans’ who spread the word about your business for you. With a pair of fresh eyes really examine your customer service from the point of view of the consumer and see where you stack up;
- Are you people trained properly and empowered to delight and care for your customers?
- How do they handle difficult customers and conflict? Are the adequately trained in de-escalation procedures?
- What are the basic standards of service you expect? How are they different from what your customer expects and are receiving?
- What special details or activities does your organization do to delight customers?
- What sets you apart from the competition in terms of customer service?
- What is your overall customer experience like from start to finish? What lasting impression do you make on your customers that has them coming back for more?
Once you have gone through these four areas you can begin to identify gaps and opportunities to improve your delivery systems and distribution processes. While it may feel like a huge task, breaking the project into sections will make the transformation of your business more attainable. But you might need a professional to help you make the strategies you need a reality. You wouldn’t try a legal matter without a lawyer and you wouldn’t explore complex financial matters without the counsel of an accountant. There is no better time to consider hiring a professional certified business coach to help you navigate the challenges your business faces in this new marketplace.
ActionCOACH® has been helping businesses for more than 25 years and focuses clients on implementing logical and easy to apply systems and processes to grow their enterprises. Unlike pricey consultants that hand you a list of what you are doing wrong, an ActionCOACH will help you make real change in your business that is lasting. We have more than 1,000 globally and in nearly 70 countries. To learn more about ActionCOACH or to schedule a complimentary Coach Session click here.